Mark J. Butz, Class of 1963
On February 20, 2012 Mark John Butz died at MedCenter One in Bismarck, North Dakota. Mark was preceded in death by Diane (Little Adair), his beloved wife of 52 years, who passed away in February of 2011 and his son, Matthew, who died as an infant in July of 1968.
Mark was born on September 27, 1937 to Cyrel and Alvina Butz in Williston, North Dakota. He lived in Chicago and Williston in his early years before moving to Minot, where he graduated from St. Leo's High School. Mark attended the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, before obtaining his undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He received his JD from UND School of Law in 1963.
Mark was married to Diane Adair Nelson on December 27, 1958 and they moved to Rugby, North Dakota in 1963. Mark and Diane lived in the Rugby area for 48 years and raised five children. The family spent their summers at Lake Metigoshe and Mark and Diane made the lake their home for 10 years before Mark returned to Rugby this past fall.
Mark was the consummate family man and his family was always the center of his world. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle. He provided unwavering support and boundless generosity to his entire family.
Mark also cherished the countless friends he made throughout his life. Mark's home was always open for company and he and Diane loved to entertain. Whether it was his traditional "Masters Party", or the pontoons full of people dropping by at the lake, Mark loved to be with his friends. Not only did he always have enough food and drinks to go around, he made sure he had on hand exactly what his friends liked. Mark's huge heart, hearty laugh and wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed.
Besides his love of family and friends, Mark had many passions in life. He loved the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Cardinals. He made many trips to Busch Stadium and Lambeau Field to see his favorite teams play. He loved travelling, collecting watches, cars, and playing golf. A highlight was his hole-in-one at the Rugby Country Club in 1992.
One of Mark's wishes was to practice law for 50 years and sadly he didn't quite make that milestone. During his time in Rugby, Mark served as the mayor, City Attorney and for a time he was the Pierce County Assistant States Attorney. In the late 1980's he served as special judge in the Turtle Mountain Tribal Court. He provided legal services to countless other individuals, businesses, boards and groups throughout the years. He was awarded the Community Service Award by the North Dakota Bar Association in 2007.
Mark is survived by his children, Jan and her husband, Lee Ehresman, Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Joni and her husband, Jim Moen, Minot; Mark N. and his wife, Patty Butz, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota; Philip J. and his wife, Karla Butz, Bismarck; and Nicole and her husband, David Wiemiller, Chaska, Minnesota. He leaves behind 15 grandchildren: Jack, Mark, Nick and Sam Ehresman, Matthew and Luke Moen, Chelsea, Callea, and Chaznea Butz, Preston and Tatum Butz, and Jake, Alex, Sam, and Reese Wiemiller; and one great-grandchild, Iris Buck. He is also survived by his brother Jacques and his wife Diane Butz, Destin, Florida; his sister, Jill and her husband Vincent H. Lombardi, Green Valley Arizona; his brother Patrick and his wife Sandy, Minot, and his sister Carla and her husband Jerome Carlin, Mahtomedi, Minnesota.
Memorial Services were held at Little Flower Catholic Church in Rugby on Friday, February 24, 2012. Rev. Thomas Graner and Rev. Paul Schuster officiated. His grandsons served as honorary urn bearers. Burial will be in the spring in Little Flower Cemetery in Rugby.
Memorials are appreciated to the Little Flower Church in Rugby or St. Mark's Catholic Church in Bottineau.
The social gathering that Mark wanted was held at the Stadium in Bottineau on Friday.
Arrangements by Niewoehner Funeral Home, Rugby.